Madagascar: Otherworldly Marvels - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2021)

Curious and other-worldly, Madagascar is full of surprises and extraordinary creatures. It has people, wildlife and landscapes found nowhere else on earth and a culture far removed from any of its near neighbours.

Journey Overview

Curious and other-worldly, Madagascar is full of surprises and extraordinary creatures. It has people, wildlife and landscapes found nowhere else on earth and a culture far removed from any of its near neighbours. On this fascinating journey you’ll explore the island nation and its flora and fauna with the help of expert guides. Still largely untouched by tourism, Madagascar is astonishing. You’ll be amazed by its rainforests, its clear blue seas, white beaches and spiny forest habitat on this incredible journey of discovery.

Journey Highlights

  • Limited to a small group size of 10 guests
  • Seek out rare species on escorted wildlife outings by day and night with expert local guides
  • Tick off several varieties of lemur and chameleon in the country’s finest national parks
  • Hike through 500-year-old baobabs in the Sacred Spiny Forest, one of the oldest on the planet
  • Experience the culture of the unique Atandroy tribe, one of the most traditional in Madagascar
  • Enjoy extraordinary birdwatching and fantastic photographic opportunities by motorboat at Manafiafy Beach
  • Watch local fishermen paddling pirogues on the ocean from your secluded tropical retreat

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Antananarivo, Madagascar

On arrival into the Malagasy capital, receive a warm A&K welcome and be transferred to your hotel. After time to settle in, meet your fellow travellers and Resident Tour Director for dinner, and a briefing on the adventure ahead. 

Tana, as the capital is universally known, is all about eating, shopping, history and day trips. It has been the home of Malagasy power for three centuries and there's a captivating history and culture to discover, as well as some unique wildlife. In the city itself, the Haute-Ville, with its beautiful colonial buildings, steep streets and cool climate is well worth exploring. Discover bustling markets and curio shops that stock handicrafts from across the country or treat yourself to a fine meal at one of the many incredible restaurants and cafes.
Hotel Colbert | Meals: D

Day 2: Andasibe | Protected Rainforest Reserve

Head east to Andasibe through a panorama of rice fields, redbrick houses and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables. A stunning rainforest park, Andasibe consists of two protected areas - the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Perinet is world famous for its population of Indri, which is the largest living lemur species. 

On arrival, settle into your lodge for the next few days, before a guided night walk in the forest surrounding the reserve. Look out for a variety of nocturnal lemur: mouse lemur, white footed sportive lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, as well as the woolly lemur.
Mantadia Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Andasibe | A Wildlife Haven

Spend a day in the 810-hectare Perinet Reserve in search of the comical Indri. With a barely visible tail, black and white markings and a surprised teddy-bear face, this lemur is one of the few animals in the world that cannot survive in captivity. There are another 11 species of lemur to spot as you wander through the rainforest. You may find a troop of grey bamboo lemur, common brown lemur, Diademed Sifaka and black and white ruffed lemur. Birdwatchers should look out for the velvet asity, blue coua and nuthatch vanga and many more endemic species. Perinet is also home to many reptiles, invertebrates, and some of Madagascar's thousand orchid species. Look out for some of these stunning flowers adorning the canopy, and the bizarre giraffe-necked weevils whizzing past, one of Madagascar's most charismatic little rainforest denizens. 

Tonight visit Mitsinjo Forest Reserve, a private reserve operated by a local NGO funding reforestation, community education and Madagascar's first amphibian captive-breeding facility. Here you will take a guided night walk, keeping an eye out for the endemic lemur species, spectacular insects, floral wonders and other natural icons.
Mantadia Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Antananarivo | Discover Lemur Island

Prepare yourself for your visit to Lemur Island, a haven protecting a number of habituated lemurs. There are four species to see: bamboo lemur, black-and-white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and one diademed sifak, all free to roam on the island and other similar islands as they wish, foraging for leaves and, if you're lucky, sitting still for a photo or two. 

After your adventure, enjoy lunch before returning to Madagascar's capital.
Le Relais des Plateaux | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Ifotaka | Otherworldly Forest Explorations

This morning travel by air to Fort Dauphin, and transfer to Mandrare River Camp with its classic tented safari accommodation and majestic views over the Mandrare River. In the late afternoon, venture on foot into the Sacred Spiny forest, home to the highest percentage of endemic plants in Madagascar. Keep an eye out for some extraordinary wildlife, including Verreaux sifaka, chameleons and ground boa constrictor and stand in awe of the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe, one of the most traditional in Madagascar. You’ll be introduced to their culture and customs before sundowners on the river bank. 

The next two days are spent exploring this extraordinary area and admiring the wildlife that call this region home. 
Mandrare River Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Ifotaka | Sacred Spiny Forest & Ancestral Tombs

Today, immerse yourself exploring this incredible region. Set out for the stunning Sacred Gallery forest, travelling on foot or by boat across the Mandrare River to reach the spectacular forest. See inquisitive groups of ring-tailed lemurs and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka, in addition to many species of birds and more than one hundred other species including reptiles, turtles, and bats. 

Later today, venture on foot for a second foray into the Sacred Gallery forest and its spectacular variety of plants and animals, with your expert guide, a tracker from the local community. 

Returning to your luxurious lodge, savour sundowners on the river bank, watching the dusky light bathe the beautiful landscapes surrounding you.
Mandrare River Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Ifotaka | Village Encounters

Your day is off to an active start, exploring the Spiny Forest on an early morning walk. A place bursting with natural wonders, see the sunlight break through the octopus trees and look out for endemic birds such as crested coua, a variety of vangas and the running coua.

Afterwards, make your way to the local village for an encounter with members of the fascinating Antandroy tribe. Explore the tombs of the ancestors and absorb the vibrant village life.

This afternoon, relax in camp and sip sundowners amidst the baobabs as the sun sets and the moon rises.
Mandrare River Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Fort Dauphin | Panoramic Promontory Views

This morning, transfer by road to Fort Dauphin and your hotel. Nestled in a promontory at the foot of the Saint Louis peak, it offers breathtaking scenery and sweeping views as far as the eye can see. 

After lunch at your hotel, relax among the luxurious amenities or ask your Resident Tour Director about exploring the town. Discover historical sites dating from the colonial era, including Sainte Luce, a fishing village with its long beaches bordered by casuarinas and palm trees. Or you might choose to visit the Fort-Flacourt, the remains of an ancient bastion, the museum of Anosy that retraces the colonial history or the Fort of the Portugueses (own expense). 

This evening, savour dinner with your group at the hotel.
Talinjoo Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Manafiafy Beach | Remote Coastal Seclusion

This morning drive to Manafiafy Beach, a secluded tropical paradise. Also known as Sainte Luce, Manafiafy is a beautiful sandy bay, fringed with forest covered mountains and wildlife rich mangroves. 

Upon arrival check into your bungalow and take some time to relax. This evening, take a walk in the Coastal Rainforest with an expert local guide. Explore the last untouched block of coastal rainforest in southern Madagascar, spotting some of the local species of lemur, over 80 bird species and a colourful array of reptiles and lizards. You’ll see nocturnal lemurs leaping through the trees, the Madagascar Scops Owl, leaf-tailed geckos and other masters of camouflage. 

Return to your lodge for dinner.
Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 10: Manafiafy Beach | Wild Coast

After breakfast, take a boat across the bay to explore the DeHaulme Forest. Keep your eyes peeled for groups of red-collared lemur foraging for food as they leap through the rainforest canopy. You may also see the critically endangered Southern Woolly Lemur resting above you. 

Return to the lodge for lunch, departing this afternoon for the nearby mangroves to enjoy some birdwatching and photography, exploring by motorboat. Don’t forget to take your camera, as when you look a little deeper you will find over 100 different amphibians and reptiles, many also unique to Madagascar. 

Return to the lodge in the evening, relax among the spectacular surrounds of your luxurious accommodation.
Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 11: Manafiafy Beach | Design Your Day

Today you can choose your own adventure with Design Your Day activities:

  • Set out on a sunrise rainforest walk
    Before breakfast, head for a sunrise walk in the coastal rainforest home to an abundance of endemic plants, lemurs, birds, and reptiles.
  • Partake in a local village visit 
    Depart for the local village, the traditional wooden houses and pirogues lining the beachfront. Here you will learn about the local customs and interact with the fishermen and their families. 
  • Take a guided walk to seek out Flying Foxes 
    Set out on a late afternoon excursion to see Madagascar’s largest bat, the flying fox. With huge colonies of about 500 large, fruit-eating, Flying Foxes can be seen roosting in the forest adjacent to the mangroves network.

Return to the lodge for a sumptuous farewell dinner on the beach, accompanied by a performance from a local musical group.
Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 12: Antananarivo | Farewell Madagascar

After an early breakfast, drive back to Fort Dauphin (2.5 hours drive) and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Tana (2 hrs). On arrival, be transferred to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure before a farewell dinner with fabulous views over the city.
Hotel Colbert | Meals: BD

Day 13: Depart Antananarivo

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Flights included as per itinerary.
Maximum Group Size: 10
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Tour Inclusions

  • All accommodation as detailed with private facilities
  • Fast Track on arrival to Antananarivo Airport
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including a welcome and farewell dinner
  • Internal flights as mentioned in itinerary
  • Bottled water during transfers and touring
  • Wine & beer during lunches and dinners (selected by Resident Tour Director), imported wines and spirits at Mandrare River Camp & Manafiafy Lodge
  • Airport welcome  - Porterage
  • Group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle or 4 wheel drive
  • Services of English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director
  • All entrance fees
  • Planning, handling, operational and communication charges
  • All tipping
  • Laundry at Mandrare & Manafiafy

Tour Exclusions

  • International flights to the tour start point and from the tour end point
  • Visas and other border fees
  • Insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip
  • Items of a purely personal nature such as drinks (unless specified), laundry, dry cleaning, internet, fax or phone charges
  • Transfers/ sightseeing or meals not specified in itinerary
  • Excess baggage charges

Please Note
Accommodation Standards:
Accommodation in Madagascar is not luxurious. While the hotels used by Abercrombie & Kent in Antananarivo are of a solid 4-star standard, accommodation throughout the rest of the country is 3-star at best, from an infrastructure and service perspective. This is due to a genuine lack of choice and the relative under-development of Madagascar and its tourism industry. 

We do request that guests understand in advance that the more basic nature of accommodation in Madagascar (which can sometimes be very atmospheric) can make for a unique, memorable stay. Please do note that at all times, Abercrombie & Kent endeavours to use the best accommodation available.

Transport and roads:
It is important to know that roads in Madagascar (outside main towns) are among the worst in Africa; often unsealed, poorly maintained, and bumpy.  It will still be necessary to travel on a poor quality road between Fort Dauphin & Manafiafy. For this sector we use best-available and well-maintained four-wheel drives. 

For further information please contact A&K and speak to one of our groups specialists.

Tailor-Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, please talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey for you, or your own small group with family or friends.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Mantadia Lodge, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

Madagascar: Otherworldly Marvels - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2021)

Lying just south of Madagascar's Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is Mantadia Lodge, opening its hilltop doors outside the tiny town of An ... Read more

Mandrare River Camp, Ifotaka Forest

Madagascar: Otherworldly Marvels - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2021)

Nestled in the shade of tamarind trees on the banks of the Mandrare River, the secluded Mandrare River Camp offers exclusive accommodatio ... Read more

Manafiafy Lodge

Madagascar: Otherworldly Marvels - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2021)

Manafiafy also known as St Luce, it was here in 1613 the first Portuguese traders laid anchor due to the calm waters and small islands ar ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Sep 19, 2021 - Oct 1, 2021
Price AU$9,695pp Single Supplement AU$2,675 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire

* You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn points. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions, available at Eligible Product(s) means any new International and Domestic private tour land itinerary or Limited Edition Small Group Journey with a land itinerary of seven nights or more* created by Abercrombie & Kent Australia.


Related Brochures

  • Small Group Journeys 2021-22 thumbnail
    Small Group Journeys 2021-22